November 22, 2012

Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

"Got any pie recipes?" A friend of mine asked.
"Nope, not a big pie person."
"What about cake?"
"Not too big on cake either."
"What are you making for Thanksgiving then?"
"I don't know."
"Aren't you a dessert blogger?!"
"Uh..."

That was an actual conversation that happened earlier this week. Because here's a confession folks. I am the world's worst dessert blogger. I'm not a fan of pie. I'm not a fan of cake. So what am I fan of? Cookies. Brownies. Bars. 

So this Thanksgiving, I'm not making apple or sweet potato pie, no, no, no. I'm making cookie bars:


That's right. I basically combined all my favorite desserts — cookies, brownies, and bars — into one obscenely delicious dessert. Booyah, baby, booyah. No pumpkin, no cinnamon, no Thankgiving spice. I am a heathen, I know.

But when I saw this recipe on Not Without Salt, I knew I had to give it a try. I'd never seen a cookie bar recipe that used cream cheese in place of butter before! The author explained that the cream cheese gave the bars a subtle tang. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure if I could taste the cream cheese. It was kinda overpowered by the copious amounts of deliciously gooey and molten chocolate in the recipe:


Yum.

Without further ado, the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving!


Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars
(Adapted from Not Without Salt)

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Ingredients

For the Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars:
(makes one 13 x 9" inch pan)
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • one 12 oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips
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Recipe

For the Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 (F). Spray your baking tin with cooking spray, line with parchment paper, and then spray again. 

  2. Whisk together 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon espresso powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. 

  3. In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes on medium-high.

  4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, lower to a slow speed, and add 2 eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.

  5. With the mixer remaining on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture from the first step. Mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix.

  6. When the flour is just combined into the sugar mixture, use a rubber spatula to stir in 12 oz. chocolate chips. 

  7. Bake for 350 (F) for 35 - 40 minutes, until the center is set and the edges are deep golden. When the bars are ready, rest on a cooling rack and let cool in the pan. 
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7 comments:

  1. I MUST try making these! They look fantastic!

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  2. Hi, I made these and they turned out dry and hard- not at all like the picture! The mixture was more like cookie dough. Just wondering if the flour quantity is correct- should it be 3 and a 1/2 cups, or 3x half cups (1.5c)? Any help welcome as the look delicious!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jessica,
      I checked the original recipe source and I believe the flour quantity is right. The mixture is a bit more like cookie dough as these are more akin to cookies than brownies. However, it is also easily overmixed and that might be why yours are turning out hard and dry? If you're using a freestanding electirc mixer like a Kitchenaid, I recommend to stop mixing the batter right after the ingredients have just been incorporated. It's always best to finish the batter by hand using a rubber spatula so you don't overbeat it. Use the rubber spatula to scrape in the sides and the bottom of the bowl and mix the ingredients until they are just unified. Let me know if that helps!
      Michelle

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  3. Mmmmmmm, these look delicious! I'm not a fan of pie or cake either, so I can appreciate a good alternative on T day!

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  4. These look amazing. You can definitely keep your dessert blog card!! I'm so making these next weekend.

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  5. Mmmmm i could do with one of those toffee bars with a hot cup of tea right now!


    Delicious recipe! Thanks for sharing

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  6. Just made these and like the reader up top, they turned out quite dry and bread-y. Tasted like a chocolate chip bread. Lacked any good richness. Another thing that didn't add up to me was, why is "Toffee" in the title? I'll still keep trying other recipes but just wanted to share my experience with this one. So-so.

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